This month two NYBC investigators have received prestigious honors and awards for their scientific projects

NEW YORK – This past month, members of New York Blood Center’s Lindsey F. Kimball Research Institute (LFKRI) have been recognized for their contributions to sickle cell disease research and transfusion medicine.

AABB’s National Blood Foundation (NBF) awarded a grant of $75K to Dr. Yunfeng Liu, Staff Scientist, of New York Blood Center’s Lindsey F. Kimball Research Institute (LFKRI) for the research project entitled “Mechanisms of interferon activation and mononuclear phagocyte expansion in sickle cell disease”. Dr. Liu and his team have recently shown that hemolysis induces inflammatory type I interferon (IFN-I) production by liver macrophage/monocytes causES phagocyte activation and expansion and exacerbating transfused antibody-coated RBC destruction in SCD. In this proposal, they will test the mechanism of hemolysis-induced IFN-I production and IFN-I-driven macrophage expansion in SCD.

“This generous support has provided me with the potential to advance transfusion medicine and cellular therapies. My study aims to develop targeted therapies to prevent or even reverse hyper-erythrophagocytosis induced by interferon-activated mononuclear phagocytes in sickle cell disease,” said Dr. Yunfeng Liu, Staff Scientist at New York Blood Center’s Lindsey F. Kimball Research Institute. “The NBF award will enable me to fill the necessary gaps in my training that will help me to obtain research independence.”

In addition to LFKRI’s Dr. Francesca Vinchi has been chosen as an NBF Scholar. As a 2022 Scholar, Francesca was selected to present at the NBF Symposium at the AABB annual meeting. Dr. Vinchi’s lab focuses on the detrimental impact of heme and iron on the pathogenesis of diseases hallmarked by an abnormal heme and iron metabolism. Dr. Vinchi previously received a grant from NBF in 2019 for her research project entitled, “Role of Heme-Activated Macrophages in Acute Chest Syndrome”.

“It is an honor to be chosen by AABB as an National Blood Foundation Scholar for my research on blood medicine,” said Dr. Francesca Vinchi, Head, Laboratory of Iron Research, Assistant Member, New York Blood Center’s Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute. “I am grateful for AABB’s support of my research and proud to be among the nine members in the history of New York Blood Center to receive this prestigious title.”

Over the course of the organization’s history, NYBC has had 10 NBF grant recipients, including Larry Luchsinger, PhD (2020); Francesca Vinchi, PhD (2019); Avital Mendelson, PhD (2018); Cheryl Lobo, PhD (2007); Beth Shaz, MD (2006); Karina Yazdanbakhsh, PhD (2000); Connie Westhoff, PhD (1999 and 1993); Chen-Han Huang, MD, PhD (1994); Marion Reid, PhD (1993); Christopher D. Hillyer, MD (1991). With the addition of Dr. Liu’s award, NYBC now has had 11 NBF award recipients. Many NBF grant recipients have conducted influential research and gone on to become leaders in the field. The vast majority of the recipients have been named NBF Scholars since completion of their grants.

About New York Blood Center: Founded in 1964, New York Blood Center (NYBC) is a nonprofit organization that is one of the largest independent, community-based blood centers in the world. NYBC, along with its operating divisions Community Blood Center of Kansas City, Missouri (CBC), Innovative Blood Resources (IBR), Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD), and Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC), collect approximately 4,000 units of blood products each day and serve local communities of more than 75 million people in the Tri-State area (NY, NJ, CT), Mid Atlantic area (PA, DE, MD, VA), Missouri and Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and Southern New England. NYBC and its operating divisions also provide a wide array of transfusion-related medical services to over 500 hospitals nationally, including Comprehensive Cell Solutions, the National Center for Blood Group Genomics, the National Cord Blood Program, and the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, which — among other milestones — developed a practical screening method for hepatitis B as well as a safe, effective and affordable vaccine, and a patented solvent detergent plasma process innovating blood-purification technology worldwide